Single Review: Destiny’s Child – Nuclear
When Destiny’s Child announced, out of nowhere, that they were releasing a new record in a few weeks, I was expecting an opus so slick that it was dripping with swag that no other girlband have been able to pull off with such class and maturity. When I found out that the ‘featured’ new material was a single song, I wasn’t impressed. Then again, it could be amazing. Imagine if GaGa had rehashed The Fame and added only ‘Bad Romance’ – nobody would have been even mildly let-down so, it is with a niggling sense of trepidation that I encountered ‘Nuclear’ for the first time – can one song hold off the disappointment and turn this campaign into a healthy reminder of one of the most acclaimed and respected girlbands?
Once you get over the initial woe that this isn’t an uptempo (let’s be honest, we had all predicted as much when the album was titled was revealed) you can really appreciate that it is a good Destiny’s Child ballad. ‘Nuclear’ comprises of an trip-hoppy drum beat, with some nice 80’s synths behind Michelle’s middle eight and sensational synths that really shine when the music drops out for Kelly Rowland’s solo. This isn’t a track that any other girlband, during Destiny’s Child’s reign nor since, could have put their stamp on like these girls have.
There is a distinct Whitney Houston feel to the ‘way-ay-ay”s in the chorus and they just so happen to be the best part of the song and don’t make enough of an appearance in my opinion. The vocals are perfectly set to harmony mode – none of the members try to outshine each other, nor do they blend into the background. Ofcourse, the most recognisable voice belongs to Ms. Knowles but even she, famed for her capability to take on the massive notes, puts on her sultry side and compliments the production beautifully. On top of it all, and it almost feels a waste of time to say it – those harmonies are, naturally, gorgeous.
The whole thing is pretty good then, but it is definitely a fans-only affair. You won’t see ‘Nuclear’ becoming a massive world-wide tune and should it get an official single release, won’t be remembered half as fondly as the magnificent singles they’d previously produced. Essentially, ‘Nuclear’ is an album track that, due to the time of it’s release, has had to live up to the hype of a single. ‘Nuclear’ is not a statement on what Destiny’s Child are able to produce, instead it’s a gentle reminder of how defining they have been and what a glorious day it will be if they do reconnect and put out a record of new stuff. It may be drowning in hype at the moment, but fans will find plenty to enjoy within the new track and, you have to admit, it’s good to hear those voices together again.
Words: Simon McMurdo